Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We all have longings, even our Lord. In today’s Gospel He offers the priestly prayer that expresses His longing for unity among His disciples and ultimately for the Church. The greatest scandal among Christians today is the disunity based upon personal opinion and not on the revealed Truth that comes to us from the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church is the guarantor of revealed Truth as Our Lord had entrusted to Peter and the Apostles. That Truth has been safeguarded throughout the centuries and innumerable followers of Christ have died rather than compromise on the Truth as is evidenced in St. Stephen’s martyrdom in the First Reading.
The evil one is relentless in trying to sow disunity and chaos. Starting with Adam and Eve, on to Cain and Abel and throughout the history of humankind he never ceases to divide and those divisions wreck families, communities, nations, and civilizations. Why do we let him have the upper hand? It makes no sense, completely illogical. Christ is the one Who first of all restores our unity with our Heavenly Father. Just think of the Lord’s Prayer: Our (communal) Father, hallowed be Thy Name (how? by our living as brothers and sisters) Thy Kingdom come (not separate kingdoms-only one), Thy Will be done (not yours, mine, his or hers) on earth as it is in Heaven. Throughout this prayer we pray “us” and “our”. It should remind us how important unity is in the mind of God.
Unity in Truth then is the very nature of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. From the earliest days of the Church, it was necessary to correct those who had veered from the Truth with the longing to bring them back into the fold. Just as in the rite of Baptism one is called to renounce satan and all his works and all his empty promises so too there needs to be sincere and honest repentance before one can be in union with the faithful. There is no room for arrogant individualism in the Body of Christ. As we contemplate the mystical and penultimate Priestly Prayer of Christ in the Upper Room let us pray for those who have gone astray to humbly return to the Lord and His eternal Truth, the Truth that sets them free.
Our congratulations to the children who this week made their First Holy Communion. May they grow daily in the love of God and reverence of His greatest gift to us in the Holy Eucharist. And let us remember those who next Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. May they mature as loyal disciples and faithful witnesses of Christ.
As our Faith Formation program has come to an end for the summer, I would like to thank our very devoted and excellent catechists and director and assistants. Their love and care for the children of the parish is absolutely essential in building up the faith in our area. May God bless them abundantly
Following all our Masses we will be praying the Novena to the Holy Spirit.